Biggest Living And Flying Birds in the World

Birds are quite fascinating. They’re essentially egg-laying dinosaur successors who are have feathers and often fly. But, when it comes to the biggest birds on Earth – ostriches, they actually don’t fly. However, there are gigantic birds who do fly. Particularly one species. And so, this article is all about the Biggest Living And Flying Birds in the World.

However, it’s important to note that there are several different factors that can be used when determining the biggest flying bird.

  1. Weight.
  2. Height.
  3. Wingspan.
The great mustard. Heavy bastard. Image credits: Mindolluin

When it comes to weight, the heaviest flying bird in the world, currently alive, is the great bustard. These birds live in central and south Europe and temperate Asia. Great bustard males are typically 90 to 105 cm or 2 ft 11 in–3 ft 5 in tall. They’re also 115 cm or 3 ft 9 inches long and have 2.1–2.7 m or 6 ft 11 in–8 ft 10 in wingspan. Average male weighs about 5.8 to 18 kg or 13 to 40 lb. Average female weighs about 3.1 to 8 kg or 6.8 to 17.6 lb.

The tallest flying bird in the world. Sarus crane. Image credits: Tbjri1

In terms of height, the tallest living and flying bird on the planet is sarus crane or Grus antigone. These birds don’t migrate and live in parts of India, Southeast Asia and Australia. They can reach the height of 2 meters or 6’7 feet, weigh up to 8.5 kg or 18.5 pounds and have a wingspan up to 2.4 metes or 8 feet wide.

Look at the wingspan of wandering albatross. Image credits: AtlantisSkye

When it comes to wingspan, the currently living bird with the widest wingspan is the wandering albatross. Average wandering albatross weighs about 7 kg or 15.4 pounds and is 1.1 to 1.4 meters or 3’6 to 4’6 feet in length. They are some of the most widely traveling birds who are known to circumnavigate the Southern Ocean three times a year, travelling about 120,000 km or 75,000 miles. How can they do that? because their wingspan is a massive 2.51 to 3.7 m or 8 feet 3 inches to 12 feet 2 inches.


As you can see, there are several different factors that have to be taken into account when determining the biggest living and flying birds in the world. Hopefully, you’ve learned more about these magnificent flying animals.

It is worth mentioning that penguins and, especially, ostriches – tend to be significantly bigger than the birds discussed above. Also, that we’ve discussed birds that are currently living, but left out birds that are extinct. And believe me, there are extinct prehistoric birds who are way larger than the biggest extant birds. And that concludes this Biggest Living And Flying Birds in the World article.

If you’d like to learn more about great bustards, sarus cranes or wandering albatrosses, here are the links from different websites.

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